Shell and PayPal offer mobile payments at the pump

Drivers pulling up at most Shell garages in the UK will soon be able to pay for their petrol through a smartphone app.

Shell: first petrol firm to offer mobile payments at the pump
Shell: first petrol firm to offer mobile payments at the pump

The petrol company trialled the technology in 2013, and will now roll out mobile payments across the "vast majority" of its 1,000 UK service stations.

The service will be available to customers who download either the PayPal or the Shell Motorist apps, and will differ slightly depending on which.

Those who download Shell's app will need to set up and link their PayPal account and identify a petrol spending limit, such as £20. When they drive into the forecourt, they can then scan a QR code displayed on their chosen pump. When they fill up with petrol, the pump will automatically stop when the customer hits their spending limit. A payment is automatically made once the customer has filled up.

As noted by one Marketing reader, use of mobile phones is usually banned in petrol station forecourts. That has less to do with the risk of fire than preventing people from wandering around distracted next to moving vehicles. 

A Shell spokeswoman told Marketing that it was encouraging drivers to use the app before they left the vehicle to fill up. She said: "Our policy hasn’t actually changed, this is an in-vehicle experience." 

She added that London Fire Brigade had green-lit the app.

The apps are available on Android and iOS, and Shell will initially make the technology available for members of its rewards scheme in April. The company will then roll out the service across the UK later this year.

Shell claims it is the first petrol company to offer mobile payments at the pump.

Michael Hominick, retail marketing manager at Shell UK said: "We’ve listened to our customers and know they will benefit from this innovation.

"They will now have the flexibility and convenience of paying without having to leave their car. Those who want to go in store and pay or purchase other items will still be able to, with the benefit of reduced queues."




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